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Europe
5:43 am
Sat November 24, 2012

Glitzy Burgundy Wine Auction Taps Celebrities

France's former first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, auctioneer Francois de Ricqles and former soccer coach Guy Roux preside over the 152nd Hospices de Beaune wine auction Sunday in Beaune, France. The charity auction raised an all-time high of $7.5 million, which goes to area hospitals.
Tardivon Jean-Christophe Maxppp /Landov

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 2:09 pm

For the last century and a half, the wine season in France's grape-growing region of Burgundy has revolved around one major commercial event. On the third Sunday in November, hundreds of barrels of the recent harvest are sold to the highest bidder in a charity wine auction. The historic event, which took place this year on Nov. 18, has evolved into an A-list rendezvous for the power players in the international wine industry.

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Europe
5:32 am
Sat November 24, 2012

A Wave Of Plagiarism Cases Strikes German Politics

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (right) has given guarded support to Education Minister Annette Schavan, who is facing calls to resign over allegations of plagiarism.
Thomas Peter Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 1:43 pm

More than half a dozen politicians in Germany are caught up in an embarrassing cheating scandal that last year cost the German defense minister his job.

The country's education minister is also implicated. She, like the other politicians, is accused of plagiarizing while earning a doctorate degree.

Their accusers are private citizens who use the Internet to coordinate their hunt for cheaters.

One of Germany's more famous cybersleuths is an American professor named Debora Weber-Wulff.

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Business
5:22 am
Sat November 24, 2012

More Shopping? Small Retailers Want Your Business

A flag urges customers to shop locally near a store in Boalsburg, Pa., on Friday. Owners of small stores hope to get a boost from Small Business Saturday.
Genaro C. Armas AP

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 1:04 pm

Jammed between Gray Thursday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday is yet another day devoted to shopping: Small Business Saturday.

Wallets are expected to open yet again on Saturday — this time for mom-and-pop stores. Main Street in Littleton, Colo., is filled with them. The street is lined with small bars and restaurants along with other businesses, including a spice store and a men's clothing boutique.

Dave Drake owns Colorado Frame and Savvy Stuff, the "savvy stuff" being women's accessories, purses, scarves and decorations.

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The Two-Way
12:48 am
Sat November 24, 2012

'Dallas' Villain Larry Hagman Dies At 81

Actor Larry Hagman, star of the TV series Dallas, poses during the 2010 Monte Carlo Television Festival in Monaco on June 8, 2010.
Christian Alminana AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 2:22 pm

Larry Hagman, who played the villain J.R. Ewing on television's long-running, prime-time soap opera Dallas, has died. He was 81.

A source close to Hagman confirmed his passing to NPR but would not speak on the record at the request of the family.

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Africa
5:05 pm
Fri November 23, 2012

Rebel Advances In Congo Send Civilians Fleeing

To escape fighting, thousands of civilians flee the town of Sake in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Thursday. Rebels captured Sake and made other advances in the area this week. Eastern Congo and the larger region have been the scene of frequent fighting over the past two decades.
Phil Moore AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 7:29 pm

It's a scene that's become wearily repetitive in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo: An uprising drives out poorly trained government troops, creating havoc and sending large numbers of refugees fleeing for their lives.

This time the rebel group is M23, or March 23. Their revolt began this spring, and earlier this week they took Goma, an important town on the country's eastern border, just across Lake Kivu from Rwanda. The rebels then proceeded to take the next town over, Sake.

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Science
4:04 pm
Fri November 23, 2012

Experiments That Keep Going And Going And Going

William Beal, standing at center, started a long-term study on seed germination in 1879. He buried 20 bottles with seeds in them for later researchers to unearth and plant.
Michigan State University

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 10:00 pm

A biologist who has been watching a dozen bottles of bacteria evolve for nearly a quarter of a century is hoping he can find someone to keep his lab experiment going long after he dies.

Meanwhile, just by coincidence, a botanist who works across campus is carefully tending an experiment that started before he was born, all the way back in 1879.

These two researchers, both at Michigan State University in East Lansing, represent different sides of an unusual phenomenon in science: experiments that outlive the people who started them.

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Middle East
3:44 pm
Fri November 23, 2012

Just Another Day In Damascus

A man walks near buildings damaged after shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Assad, at Harasta, a suburb of Damascus, on Nov. 19.
Abed Al-Kareem Muhammad Shaam News Network/HOReuters /Landov

Editor's Note: Throughout the Syrian uprising, the government has allowed few foreign journalists and other outsiders into the country, and there has been limited information about life in many parts of the country. In this essay, a Syrian citizen describes life in the capital, Damascus. For security reasons, NPR is not identifying the author.

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World
2:32 pm
Fri November 23, 2012

Russia, U.S. Seek To Resolve Friction On Adoptions

Artyom Savelyev, now 9, was sent back to Russia on a plane by his adoptive U.S. mother in 2010. The case stirred anger in Russia.
Misha Japaridze AP

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 7:29 pm

Americans have been adopting Russian children in sizable numbers for two decades, and most of the unions have worked out well. But it remains a sensitive topic in Russia, where officials periodically point to high-profile cases of abuse or other problems.

Now, the two countries are putting the finishing touches on a new agreement governing these adoptions. It will make the process costlier and more time-consuming, but it's designed to address a host of concerns.

Some Russian officials still seem to bristle at the very thought of foreigners adopting Russian children.

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World Cafe
2:03 pm
Fri November 23, 2012

Ben Folds Five On World Cafe

(From left) Robert Sledge, Ben Folds and Darren Jessee of Ben Folds Five.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 1:50 pm

Three albums into a thriving career, Ben Folds Five abruptly announced it was over in 2000. Luckily for fans, Folds got the band back together 11 years later and even released a new album, The Sound of the Life of the Mind, this September.

The album is classic Ben Folds Five — at times irreverent, cerebral, quirky, wistful and playful. The Sound of the Life of the Mind peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 and the video for the first single, "Do It Anyway," features Anna Kendrick, Rob Corddry and the cast of Fraggle Rock.

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World
11:13 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Italian Women Call For Action Against 'Femicide'

Demonstrators rally to protest violence against women in a march in Milan, Italy, in November 2009. This year, more than 100 women in Italy have been killed by their male partners.
Antonio Calanni AP

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 10:02 pm

Already this year, 105 women in Italy have been killed by husbands or boyfriends –- present or former.

Vanessa Scialfa, 29, was killed by her partner in Sicily. Alessia Francesca Simonetta, 25, was pregnant when she was stabbed to death by her boyfriend in Milan. Carmella Petrucci, 17, was stabbed in the throat as she tried to defend her sister from her ex-boyfriend.

Police inspector Francesca Monaldi, who heads the gender crime unit in Rome, says the names and the cities change, but the stories are very similar.

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